Best of British! BAWA titles for Jake, Laura and Eilish

Thursday 22nd December 2022

BAWA website

By Mark Woods

World champion Jake Wightman has been named British Male Athlete of the Year in the annual awards overseen by the British Athletics Writers Association.

And for the first time in BAWA’s 59-year history, there is a joint winner of the Female Athlete of the Year prize with Laura Muir and Eilish McColgan tied on voting for the prize.

 Wightman, 28, earned the John Rodda Award for the second time in three years for his blistering surge to men’s 1500m gold in Oregon, the first global gold for a British male over that distance since Seb Coe’s Olympic triumph in Los Angeles in 1984.

Jake also won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham over the same distance and a silver in the 800m at the European Championships in Munich.

‘It’s a real honour in what was the busiest year we’ve ever had as athletes and I’m sure for journalists, trying to cover events, it was even worse battling jetlag, different time zones and three major championships can’t have been easy.

‘So congratulations to all of you for surviving it. Thanks for trying to put our sport in the best light possible and for giving it the platform in Britain it deserves.’

Jake wins gold in Oregon (photo by British Athletics/Getty Images)

Muir acquires the Cliff Temple Award for Female Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career in tandem with Eilish McColgan, her club-mate at Dundee Hawkhill Harriers.

Another spectacular summer brought Muir, 29, bronze over 1500m at the world championships, followed by a successful defence of her European title in Munich. In between, she also took 1500m gold and 800m bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

‘It’s a Dundee Hawks takeover,’ said Laura.

‘All in all, 2022 has been pretty crazy but pretty amazing. It’s very fortunate things worked out very well at all three championships for me and I came away with a lot of medals.

‘I’m very happy and honoured that Eilish and I were voted as Athlete of the Year because she had a fantastic year as well.’

Laura wins Women’s 1500m gold at the European Champs (Photo by European Athletics via Getty Images)

It was in Birmingham where McColgan, 32, had her finest hour to date by emulating her mother Liz with a Commonwealth gold in the 10,000m in one of the memories of the sporting year.

She also added silver in the 5000m there and then acquired a 10,000m silver and 5,000m bronze at the Europeans.

Amid her road-running exploits, she broke the British half-marathon record with a time of 1:06:26 in the UAE, set a European best of 30:19 over 10km in Manchester and also added national records over 5km, 15km and 20km.

‘It has been a pretty special year,’ said Eilish.

‘To be winning these awards is pretty surreal. Especially winning it jointly with Laura. We’re keeping it Scottish. We’re keeping it patriotic.

‘She’s had an incredible year like she’s had for the past five years. But it is a huge honour to receive this. 2022 really has been an incredible season from the roads to the track.’

Eilish crosses the line to win 10,000m gold at the Commonwealth Games (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Tags: Eilish McColgan, Jake Wightman, Laura Muir

Expand Social Feeds